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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

house. Everything in the whole world seemed
to stand still. The Lighthouse became immov-
able, and the line of the distant shore became
fixed. The sun grew hotter and everybody seemed
to come very close together and to feel each other's
presence, which they had almost forgotten.
Macalister's fishing line went plumb down into
the sea. But Mr. Ramsay went on reading with
his legs curled under him.

He was reading a little shiny book with covers
mottled like a plover's egg. Now and again, as
they hung about in that horrid calm, he turned
a page. And James felt that each page was
turned with a peculiar gesture aimed at him: now
assertively, now commandingly; now with the
intention of making people pity him; and all the
time, as his father read and turned one after
another of those little pages, James kept dreading
the moment when he would look up and speak
sharply to him about something or other. Why
were they lagging about here? he would demand,
or something quite unreasonable like that. And
if he does, James thought, then I shall take a
knife and strike him to the heart.

He had always kept this old symbol of taking a
knife and striking his father to the heart. Only
now, as he grew older, and sat staring at his
father in an impotent rage, it was not him, that
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